The average B.C. home price will be $720,000 in 2019

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Even though British Columbia is expected to lead the country’s year-over-year decline in home sales in 2019, the provincial average resale price will rise slightly, according to a national real estate forecast published December 17.

The average sale price of a B.C. home sold on the Multiple Listing Service next year will be $720,000 – a rise of 0.9 per cent over 2018’s figure, predicted the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

That’s following a year-over-year increase of 0.6 per cent in 2018 to $713,700 – despite sales plummeting on an annual basis in many of the province’s major markets.

CREA said that, following an overall 24.2 per cent annual decline in home sales across B.C. in 2018, resale transactions would drop in the province by a further 5.2 per cent in 2019. That’s the second-steepest predicted sales drop of all the provinces, after Newfoundland at -7.2 per cent, and a much bigger total volume decline.

This contradicts a B.C. Real Estate Association forecast issued in November, which predicted home sales in the province would bounce back somewhat after a slow 2018.

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Across the country next year, CREA predicted that the national average price for a Canadian home sold via the MLS would rise 1.7 per cent to $496,800. Only Newfoundland, Alberta and Saskatchewan are expected to see a lower average sale price next year compared with 2018.

The association revised its projected national residential sales across 2018 to a decline of 11.8 per cent versus 2017, which is 458,000 homes – the lowest in nine years.

“The national forecast has been revised lower… as an anticipated rebound in sales in British Columbia has so far failed to materialize, the recovery in Ontario sales this summer has now run its course and sales activity in Alberta has edged lower. These developments were partially offset by stronger-than-expected sales activity in Quebec,” CREA said in its report.

Next year, the total number of sales in Canada is forecast to decline another 0.5 per cent to 456,000 units.

“In 2019, home sales activity and prices are expected to be held in check by recent policy changes from different levels of government, in addition to additional interest rate increases,” said the association.

While B.C. is set to drive that projected decline in resale transactions, followed by Alberta, Ontario is expected to see a recovery in home sales after a weak 2018, and Quebec is predicted to continue its strong activity.

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